tv Washington Journal CSPAN February 6, 2011 7:00am-10:00am EST
on spending on all areas except national security. mike from ohio on the democrat line. good morning and welcome to the conversation. caller: good morning. the first thing they should cut is their pay and their benefits. second is lobbyists these people don't care about the average working man at all. leif: host: good morning. caller: i've written to both parties. i think they need to vote one to
one. if all democrats vote to decrease this debt limit, they will get crashed by the republicans. why are they assuming that the democrats are going to increase without any republican votes or with just a couple republican votes. those democrats are just stupid they are always spienless and stupid. another thing, why are we going to be told who is the nominee for parties. i think we ought to take a lesson from the lady in al kau. for instance. the republicans wanted ron paul. he has a total blackout from the press. howard dean is the one that people want from the democrats.
he's always blacked out. let's write in our own candidate and stop the republican democratic party bit. >> coming up later in the program, in our final hour as we reflect on the life of ronald reagan. done is joining us from maryland on the democrat line. caller: good morning. regarding the budget. it's quite curious and puzzling that in the state of the union address, president obama only pointed out one program he was going to cut. that was the community action programs. if i understand it thashgsz the program that helps low income people in the country. there are more poor people right now than ever in america. i don't understand why tax cuts
are silly too. he said we have to increase taxes. it is not going to be able to get us where we want to go. leif: give us a call. or join on line at twitter domenici/c-span wj or send us an email throughout the morning. a caller from niceville, georgia. good morning. this country became very rich and wealthy on the back of the
poor and slafs. this problem we have now is again being paid by the poor. it is going back to the sim way it has always been. i am not born here but i am an american. accept it has quite a few problems. leif: where are you from originally? caller: i'm from finland. that was my statement >> looking at some of the key players. one of them is paul ryan. saying when he was tapped to deliver the official party response, ryan was awarded a roll. governor last year and in 2000.
>> i think i noticed the twitter. it doesn't really have anything to do with them until we get rid of the central banks running this country. the problem goes back to wood row wilson. the bible said the borrowr is slaf to the lender. america is moving towards socialism. they are trying to wreck the country by design. if they raise the debt, it will be another nail in the coffin in
our society. as we are hearing this morning, they will sit down with government owe firms. they'll have more at the bottom of the hour. joe is joining us from virginia. the question is how deep should budget cuts go? >> i think the budget cut ought to go real deep. how many times have you seen the budget take a pay cut? i have dealt with a lot of different things before. grants. there is a lot of grant money
buy goods and service for our shoeld yours something about that don't sound right. >> the deficit we are facing this year is projected in the overall debt in excess of trillions. you can get that information we are taking questions i have one question. who is paying for the president's super bowl party? there's a nice place to cut. >> ok. saying yesterday that the
government needs to stop the spending binge if it wants to boost the recovery for increased investment in certain areas. the bunl et deficit including the resent deficit are unsustainable sej joining us from new york. how are you doing? >> fine. thank you. caller: i'm amazed i'm on right now. this subject is such a complex subject. to get my young word out there. we need to bring back this point when the value of work and hard labor was started and add interest to that.
good morning. welcome to c-span. i think it should only be cut in the military budget i read an article that said if we could make enough of a deficit, we would tut it to the poor. there needs to be tax revenue. thank you. dell is joining us from pennsylvania. caller: the problem is not on the side of spending but on the revenue side. we have 50,000 or more
question. how deep will the cuts go? caller: how are you doing? a lot of people say cut military spending. we can spend a lot more time with those people on reserve or working for peace efforts there's a lot to do. tom from obama has this point. there are only a few democrats and republicans who voice the
truth. we have to remember the tax cut for the wealthy, we raise the rate for them. if you look at a graph of income versus the percentage of the population. it goes up gradually the last 2%, that chart goes straight up. the top 2% of the population actually makes more than the rest of the population combined.
cut for the rich. the simple concept that no jobs in the fund increase to the debt. more on these coming up at 10:00 eastern. the former governor of arizona. those pat downs in the airport, here is what she had to say. >> are you going to be able to meet that target or are you struggling with that guest: we are already piloting the next wave of soft where.
>> the complaint said mr. miers should be liable also because he was the office broker. washington journal conditions. the director nathan brown. thank you for being with us. if you could, 12 days after the up rising began, assess the response. caller: it's clearly where we want egypt to be. the situation changes from day-to-day. we are not sure who the actors are and what their intentions
could the vice president take over. does he need to leave the state? all these questions seem to move over the past two years what you've got ask a regime right now in crisis in that sense, he is no longer the issue if he continues in office or not, the point is that this regime wants to basically stay as it is. we are wanting to force the regime to make for the more plural is tick party system. the mechanisms of how we do that
speaker, a man not widely respected would need new amendments. it is essentially designed and not really a solution. americans realize that. what americans have done have sort of backed off in support they went much farther. went way beyond the obama administration was comfortable with. the real issue is how do we get the transition.
good morning. >> it was the stated policy to establish the demonstration what would be the motive to establish democracy saying he will not take another term after 201 when his current term expires. saying he would also cut his pay in half. >> the question about regional demonstration is a very, very good one. what i would say is that if anything may have inhibited
action. when egyptians look to iraq, they don't see the democratic system. they have lived through a brutal civil war. basically, the situation made possible for their own societies. you really want to push this. this is where we may beheading. each country has its own internal dynamic. to the extent they look to iraq, it's not the example to them. the rule of law in the arab world and constitutions, arab basic laws. nathan brown.
>> good morning. i have three questions. i realize that there is unrest throughout the middle east. it is difficult to figure out who the actors are in the up rising. my question is what does it say to the confidence of the obama administration when they start to insist that president mum mumbarak back off. number two, why the push for the mugs limb brother hood to be part of the new government they are part of the mosque committed to overthrow israel.
we are seen as the big satan. number three is, why are the radical left there now? we have code pink in the islam yik papers saying help us cleanse our country. >> we'll get those points on the mail. acting in the name of the american people did back pedal. it wasn't quite sure exactly where to push things there.
to be fair, this is a rapidly changing evolvement until the beginning of this week that mumbarak may actually step down in september. it is also not clear exactly how much the entire process is going to honor the exiting procedures. what they are doing is trying to react on the ground. the egypt that looks different.
guest: egypt does see itself as an african country. they feel far stronger ties to the arab world. it is probably oriented more. it does identify itself as an african country. thank you very much. you sound like a knowledgeable man on egypt and the middle east. the military has stayed back. they haven't done any shooting that we know of.
military is definitely on the side. could the military have played a bloodier roll? absolutely. leif: joining us from new york. an egyptian-american. how long have you been in the u.s.? caller: 22 years. leif: thank you for phoning in. caller: starting in the first couple of days, i was uncomfortable. when i sart seeing the influence of the muslim brother hood. i snow how the muslim brother
position to deal with this party or that party. it is not weather we deal with the brother hood but what message we send to the society about what kind of option we would be willing to deal with. appealing to the values. they have muslim in their name. that said. if there were elections tomorrow or a year from now, i would see them getting 20-30% of the vote. other groups have shown ability to turn egyptians out and
mobilize them. there is reason to believe them there. there is no position to demand or reach for anything more. i think that would be the most likely outcome. >> one of our viewers saying, please review the questioning of the gaza election with the tentative ok. >> what happened in 2006 was that you did have a mass majority in parliament. the united states didn't question it going too far. they did make clear we are not going to deal with this government we will have nothing to do with them that led to the
split between the westbank and gaza my own feeling at the time was that the united states was getting that. you would have had elections in 2010. ham as would have had to face the population pressing for nothing. in egypt, we are more comfortable with the idea that egypt could transition to something that could be recognizably democratic. leif: talking with nathan brown of george washington university on what's next an egyptian american joining us from maryland. good morning. caller: good morning. guest: thank you for the
interesting conversation. we have to keep in mind that the mumbar kafrn regime has been in place for 30 years. there's been several callers about the muslim brother hood. the brother hood has filled a void in the system providing free medical care and social services where the government failed to do so. egypt is not like iraq. egypt is not like any of the other countries. egypt has the highest number of phds. highly educated people. many are young, under 30. they have no jobs or prospects for the future for marriage because they simply don't have the money to do that. this up rising is the first one in almost 7,000 years for the entire egyptian population to
the other thing that the caller was getting at and the one thing i would agree with is that this is not primarily the question of the moslem brotherhood. we, in america, go to them after 9/11 and were concerned about islamic politics. what i think we are seeing in each of right now is a very diverse political scene. the focus really should be on transition rather than any particular political actor. host: our guest is a graduate of the university of chicago. caller: i appreciate your perspective. that after 9/11 when osama bin laden give us six reasons for the attack, one of the keep once was the u.s. propping up and supporting
corrupt governments. as i hear the response of the coverage on cnn and other stations, that seems to be very true that our interest is solely in finding a partner and supporting israel and the regime in israel. that is absolutely frightening that we have held 80 million people hostage to the implementation of zionism and israel and all they really want is democracy. my question to you is -- i have been to egypt quite a few times on business. isn't it apparent that the values of the people in egypt are far closer are aligned to the values of americans in terms of the desire for a color blind democratic society?
aren't we more allied to egypt and israel? guest: that is a tough question. i would not put it in comparative terms. israel as well as a very vibrant democratic society. we are very comfortable dealing with the democratic process there. what has happened not just with the administration's but since the mid-1970s, the united states its policy on a very close working relationship with egypt. that working relationship is based very much on the egyptian- israeli peace treaty and a common general view of politics and security issues in the region. essentially, that is a close partnership what we are now seeing is a situation in which the regime we have worked closely with not only under mubarak but under his predecessor is very much on the ropes.
the obama administration has done a decent job if you stand back and look at the last couple of weeks as a whole and they say they understand the system as it was working does not function. we want to see a different kind of system, one that is more firmly rooted but presumably one we can continue to work with as a close partner. we don't know exactly what that would look like but we are comfortable with all kinds of different outcomes. that is what i see and that is a sentiment -- a fundamentally sound approach. we see very fancy footwork, sometimes going to park in one or another direction and several missteps along the line. that is fair to criticize. the basic approach of the obama administration seems to be in a very challenging situation seems to be fundamentally sound. host: the moslem brotherhood will indicate that they will meet with government officials
in egypt that is the headline this morning from "the washington post." virginia, good morning. caller: i have a question. i was curious, are the tensions in the middle east escalating as much as the media portrays or is the media coverage simply increasing? guest: that is a very interesting question because the events in egypt are captivating people here in the way domestic politics in the arab world almost never does. i would say that the tensions in the middle east, the international tensions, are problematic. the ones between states, but those are getting particularly better or worse. there are crises of their without solution. what we are seeing in egypt and what we saw earlier in tunisia is something different.
those were domestic upheavals. that is a little bit new. these regimes have all kinds of problems but fundamentally, you could count on the same person being president next year as was last year in most of these places. many egyptians will sometimes joke and say they would like to utter the phrase "former president" before i die. we now have a former president in to in asia and maybe in six months, we will accept -- indonesia and libya six months, we will have a former president -- we now have a former president in tunisia. there is no question that the short-term effect has been disastrous for egypt economically in terms of the tourism industry. also for americans who are in
egypt. when the situation is resolved, i would expect things to go back fairly quickly. egypt is a society with strong institutions and strong security systems. one interesting thing that got mr. is when you have the breakdown of the system in egyptian cities one week ago, you had the egyptians organized themselves very quickly in order to protect their homes and neighborhoods. that was probably the egyptian society's finest hour. they formed neighborhood block committees to stem the outbreak of civil disorder. i would say that right now, it has to be a very nervous time for americans to go back and forth for egypt and those who have relatives and friends in egypt. it is a very unstable time but fundamentally, i would not worry about this for the long term. host: the vice president is
meeting with the muslim brotherhood. what role will the vice president play in this process in the coming days? guest: the vice-president is essentially acting president right now. he is calling all the shots from what we can see from the outside. his meeting is a significant step primarily because the opposition has been very united and says they will not negotiate until mubarak leagues. ves. they seem to be the ones interested in negotiating a deal on breaking opposition ranks host: nathan brown, an expert on the middle east, thank you for being with us. when we come back, our sunday roundtable and later, remembering ronald reagan on this, the 100th anniversary of his birth.
>> this weekend on c-span 3, we will visit the old naval service which operates from 1844-1843 in washington d.c.. the university of virginia professor on the fugitive slave law of 1850 and out indirectly resulted in the expansion of the underground railroad and a look at political cartoons of the civil war and how they provide insight into the political issues of the day. experience american history tv
on c-span 3 all weekend, every weekend. for a complete schedule, go to c-span.org/history and you can have our schedule e-mailed to you. >> today on book-tv, an author and columnist, the founder of the american spectator magazine has written over half a dozen books including his latest " after the hang of for." over." joins us live today at noon eastern on book-tv on c-span 2. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we want to welcome the former communications director for the rnc and the democratic strategist. let's begin with some of the news that will happen this week. tomorrow, the president will
travel across lafayette square to deliver a speech before the u.s. chamber of commerce. he has been very critical of this organization over the last two years in light of the amount of money they spent on his health care bill. what will he say tomorrow? guest: one thing that i was struck by looking at their office, is the enormous banners they have hanging outside their office that say "jobs, jobs, jobs." that is one thing they will agree on. if you have not seen the banners, they are enormous. host: both sides are eager to show a new era of warm feelings. what does the chamber need from the president and what is the president want from the chamber? guest: from the timbers point of view, they want to see more than rhetoric. -- from the chambers point of
view, they want to see more rhetoric. they want a shift in how the president is talking about issues. we need to see what substance comes after that. from the president's point of view, maybe a detente of sorts. this may be a thawing of icy relations. this shows the president trying to back up some of the words he has said. it is about what comes next. host: also we are looking at ronald reagan paused shadow and the impact it has on people like mitt romney, newt gingrich, sarah palin, and other potential presidential candidates. guest: it is a large shadow. i am from north carolina and 1976, it shifted how the whole campaign went. he was considering dropping out and that made 1980 come to be. his show is enormous on the
party but it is something i don't know of any republican that does not embrace him. it is an opportunity to talk about issues that really were part of his will house. he looked away the economy is now, there is a similarity. we will see how these candidates embrace that. it looks like the first presidential debate will be at the reagan presidential library. host: north carolina is the site of the 2012 democratic convention. white's charlotte's? guest: it was a thoughtful choice. i don't want to minimize the effort that goes into picking a convention site for either party. the business community in particular, the party structure, the apparatus down there, there was a concerted effort and it was successful. i think there is tremendous excitement about not just the easy flight from d.c. to north
carolina but the promise it holds as a convention site and hopefully some good food. host: it is a right to work state. the mayor of st. louis said it was a political decision, not a logistical decision. guest: the chairman of the democratic national committee address this issue and recognize their discussions to be had on these concerns. i don't expect that the democratic party's commitment and ongoing relationships with labor will be in any way affected. the convention is a long way away. there is tremendous work that goes into planning it and i suspect there will be a lot to come on that very topic, but in a very positive way for the party. host: you wrote an article about obama. guest: obama in 2008 in north
carolina especially did a tremendous job of building a structure that the gop did not have in 2008. we do this time obama will try to replay his old success, the main difference is we will not be caught by surprise this time. we know that obama will run a strong campaign. we know he will have a strong organization. we will be there and be organized. having the convention in charlotte helps that because we will have a presence at that convention as well. there are -- there is always a shadow, if you will, from the other party wherever the convention is. an interesting thing about this check, the first phone call i had after charlotte was announced was a friend of mine who has worked with labor groups, specifically the hotel and restaurant employees, i cannot repeat the exact language of what he said but essentially
he said the white house no longer cares about labor and i thought that was interesting. the other interesting thing is that this convention being in charlotte has had an impact on the missouri senate race. senator clear mccaskill said she had tried to lobby for the convention to be in st. louis. that is par for the course for a senator. she was not getting your phone calls returned. "the new york times" said she had asked the convention not to have it in st. louis because the attention that that may bring, the point of the story was that it would have a negative impact on her campaign. guest: if there is anything that is a terrific attribute of senator mccaskill is that she has never been afraid to speak her mind about something.
she is one of the most effective democratic senators and one of the most dynamic women in the caucus. i am not too sure that her voice in her opinion is a cause for great concern. she is just isclaire mccaskill. i would be hard pressed to say that the republican party is in someone standing up for labor in ways that the democratic party is not guest: definitely not, but mccaskill has not chopped down these rumors. they had an opportunity to but political professionals agree that if something comes up like that, youquash that right away. they did not print her position has been that her phone calls were not returned. this is why people like brian walsh at the nrcc has been dogged on this already.
host: there are many speakers at the c-pac conference this week. the former alaska governor is not scheduled to speak. guest: i guess that means she will make any news, then. this is the third year i believe she has declined to appear in person. it seems like a story that rights itself. the gathering, as a i have understood it and followed it on the outside is an important but non-universal gathering for these activists. there'll be 10,000 people there and the requisite press and attention. it is worth noting that sarah alin's pac will still sponsor
reception. she will not have a presence but she will find a way to make headlines. host: we will cover the c-pac conference and you can get more information on the scheduled speakers. you could go to our website, c- span.org. sarah palin was a speaker at the reagan ranch and spoke about conservatism friday evening. this is part of what she had to say. >> i think president reagan would be proud of the conservative movement today because we have never been more engaged in passionate and more willing to put up with what it takes in order to serve. no, there is not one replacement for reagan but there are millions of people believing in the great ideas that he espouses. there is a whole army of patriotic people out there across this country ready to stand up and speak out in defense of liberty. they are not afraid to tell
goliath, "don't tread on me." host: will she run? guest: i don't know, i don't think anybody really knows. i don't think former governor palin knows if she will run. if he gets in the race, it changes the dynamic immediately. the amount of money she can raise will be significant and the amount of media attention on anything that she has done for in the case of not appearing at c-pac is significant. she will be a player, regardless host: fort worth, texas, democrat library caller: i am a democrat because i was born to libertarian parents. i'm from a military family. my father had three purple hearts. i went to vietnam and was a
prisoner for 18 months and 12 days. my son, my green beret is on his way home. i have never been so disappointed in the conservative party in my life. i have had some throat surgery, as you can tell. these people are not your friend. when you stick your hand out, they will buy it. ite it. let's all take responsibility. i did not want this tax break. i did not need it. [unintelligible] host: where was your son stationed before heading home? gcaller: he was in
afghanistan. he was in fort bragg for over 10 years before he went into special forces. host: what about the looming debt and deficit? the vote and the debt ceiling will come later this spring and we ask how deep the budget shows -- budget cuts should go. republicans say it does not go far enough. guest: the items that were put forth by talking about what the budget cuts are likely to look at, it's clear it will only be a starting place. it seems like the opening shot for president obama to be working with republicans in congress to find additional ways to do some responsible cutting and to have this budget represent the priorities that he has espoused as he did in the state of the union, it is a
conundrum for both parties to solve these spending cut questions, to do the budget in a responsible way, and to be mindful of the debt concerns and also, on the heels of the fried a job report -- the friday job report and the slightly confusing numbers i can out of that -- it is worth noting in the jobs report that we saw the highest unemployment numbers yet for veterans which is of great concern to the democrats and i expect the republicans, as well host: caller: california, good: i am very concerned about the centennial celebration for ronald reagan who began all of this slide into wild, crazy clown capitalism. this country has had it. don't we understand that? the threat of republicans who want to bring down this administration and they are talking about their future.
excuse me, you have ruined our country. host: on that point? guest: i don't think we have ruined the country. over the past two years, we have not been in power at all. the last two years of the bush presidency, we had a speaker named nancy pelosi. republicans are trying to do what we can to put the country back on the right track. unfortunately, we only have one chamber of congress where we can do that. that is where you start to see some of these are real cuts in spending that we've you are necessary. the debt is looming over all of us. if we don't tackle this, we will become a bigger problem. host: obama care is on the ropes. the conclusion is that it is a matter of time until the health care bill is repealed. guest: that seems like a narrow
slice of what is really happening. he is probably referring to the virginia attorney general. he has tried to begin this repeal process. sort of tidalme wave of the others behind him. over the past months, there has been concerted and thoughtful dialogue about how to strengthen the bill. i don't see this sort of windfall for the march to repeal is as loud as he suggests. host: this is from twittered -- -- guest: cuts in spending are absolutely necessary. there is no doubt about it. what we need to see is at the state of the union, we had so many members of congress from different parties sitting next to each other.
what actually happens after that? we don't know yet. host: our next call is from orlando, fla., independent line. caller: i don't care which party wins or whatever. it is the person. what i sought in the 2008 election, i am very disappointed in the health care. they took care away from the seniors. they did not give them a raise and they did not give the military a raise in two years. they have blown all other spending out of the water. i don't understand where the money is going to. i don't know how we can start another entitlement when they say we are going broke. we are going broke i see neighbors suffering. they are elderly families. they can't even pay for a plumber and the government cannot get it fixed. guest: the idea of the
personality of the person in power hearkens back to all of the discussion about president reagan right now. it is perhaps a contrast that many people may be drawing right now, this romanticized centennial celebration is taking place in some quarters to look at the power of the actual person in office. if there is anyone who we have seen from his a cent in 2004 to his election in 2008, is the power of president obama's personality. there has been interesting discussion about how he is getting that personality back after the admittedly rough, difficult, challenging first two years. that personality, that leader i believe is reemerging. host: here is another point --
the republicans have the house, the senate, and the white house. guest: i worked in the house of representatives in the late 1990's when we went from surplus to deficit -- from deficit to surplus in spending. we saw many republicans becoming big government republicans. we started spending like democrats. the electorate through a lot of them out of all this and that is why we lost the house and frankly, we deserve it. it is important to demonstrate we have learned those lessons and we will not make those same mistakes again. that is the charge we have been given. it is interesting to hear so many people sending in questions through twitter specifically about the deficit and about the debt. five years ago, 10 years ago, that did not happen to the same amount. the intensity of this issue is much greater than it has ever ben-gurion host: tacoma,
washington, good morning. caller: i want to ask a question about the 2012 election with respect to china. one is about the person who hates the free market and capitalism. god bless ronald reagan. he understood that when the government fears the people, we have democracy. if egypt had a second amendment and the right to bear arms, there would not be a revolution as we see it in egypt because the government would know they would lose. my question is about the 2012 election with china. whether you are on left or right side of the aisle, everybody sees the elephant in the room. what politician will stand up and declare that we need to correct this with paris. the need to be a change in america. this is not a war against china or any other nation but our
middle class and everybody has been stagnant for 30 years and we are fed up. we might turn into egypt pretty soon. guest: we will certainly see many candidates talking about the issues about china. that goes back to our spending and goes back to borrowing. so much of that money is coming from china. we saw campaign ads in the last campaign cycle that specifically talked about that issue and how china is taking a long view and betting on us to fail. if we do, china wins. host: 3 or four seats could make mitch mcconnell the senate majority leader in 2013. there are 10 republican seats up next year and 23 democratic seats. some of the 2012 races were outlined. these are democratic tossup races.
montana, nebraska, north dakota, virginia, and west virginia and only two republican seats are considered to be tossups, mass., and nevada. guest: no question that the senate composition is of keen interest to both parties and to see the way these difficult races will play out is completely routed in what we will see over these coming months, the unveiling of the budget, the process that will come as a result of that, the way the parties address the deficit and other cuts. i believe that the caucus is well-positioned to fight for their members. the democratic caucus is mindful that the majority is one that can be taken away. certainly, there are lessons to be learned from this past november of. i also believe that the path of the party is on will continue in a way that those seats will be
increasingly say. however, the challenges will be there and it will be a tough race. host: we are only talking about the switch of four seats that would put the republicans the majority. guest: everyone of these boats will be carefully considered and the nuances will not be lost on party leadership. there will be tremendous attention to these seats and to the sustaining of those seats. host: we talked about kent conrad of north dakota who is retiring. guest: we saw things break the republicans' way. north dakota is a great example. i was in north dakota during the campaign in october. i met our congressional candidate who is now a member of congress who is a potential candidate we're looking at. the montana race, we have a top guy there.
one thing that was interesting that we come to forget is if you go back to the day obama was sworn in, the projections for republicans in the senate was to lose one senate seat. things change pretty quickly as they often do in politics. they change very quickly in our direction and we are in a much better place and then we were two years ago. that is why we are cautiously optimistic we will be able to turn minority leader mcconnell into majority leader mcconnell. host: we have a veteran of democratic party politics with us. she is a graduate of cornell university and studied at the university of chicago doug hye worked at the republican national committee. guest: i don't think he has come on "washington journal" yet
host:. he is welcome any time. guest: we've got the new chairman, reince preibus, at the committee. he has done a great job last three weeks in correcting some mistakes the committee made over the past couple of years and raising money. that is something that is an absolute priority for the committee. that is the number one priority. host: diem know what the state of finances of the rnc -- of the dnc is to guest:? there is a healthy fiscal situation there. that is something that chairman tim kaine has been mindful of. he came in with a strong base with a wave of president obama's election. he had a lot to work with and organizing for america is a robust organization within the dnc. they began to put the chicago reelection effort to gather, there is tremendous faith in his leadership.
host: the rnc budget deficit is $23 million-guest: that is true. the chairman has been his top priority and is focusing his time on the deficit. when you take the totality of the party committees versus the democratic counterparts, the democrats are in a higher amount of debt than we are. there has been focused on the rnc debt but as a party we are in a stronger position now. the democrats have the best fund raiser in the world in president obama. when we were trying to raise money and keep up with the democrats, that was a real challenge. the president of united states can raise $1 million per day and can do that four or five days a week. our fiscal house as republican is better than the democrats right now. host: there is a piece on the three wisconsin republicans.
it could shape the direction of the gop. scott walker, reince preibus, and paul ryan are all from southern wisconsin. my guess is that they are cheering green bay today. guest: in some ways, this is a nice segue to talk about wisconsin. there's a tendency to look at the party and their health through purely fiscal and i am a veteran of the party and doug is a veteran of the party and we understand that is important. there are such other factors that go into the ultimate success of the party. the new leadership will be part of that. people will pay close attention also, what is happening in the state whether it is the early states or the state where we have seen some of the overturned in the recent cycle, wisconsin being the example. host: charlotte, north carolina
is the site of the democratic national convention. the republican national convention will be the last week of august. one year from today will be the iowa caucuses with the presidential election getting under way. that will be followed by the new hampshire primary. las vegas, good morning. caller: i have three things i would like to say. it has been three years since i have been last a host: on. why have you been such a stranger? caller: it is hard to get on. there are -- there seems to be a problem with the dressing this president would salutation especially by the republicans. it seems like there is such a hard thing about addressing him as president obama. doug , a"stumbling obama."
they will say senator this or senator that. another thing about the unions -- it wasn't for the unions, there would be no middle class whether it is white, black because the gave the blacks in a lot of opportunity to move into the middle class. they use the word socialism like it is dirty. when president obama says it socialism, he means that you've got company execs making a profit and their salaries are over 800%, over $1 million per year and yet the republicans think that paying minimum wage is too much. it is purely ridiculous. they never think about the poor and the poor are some of the hardest working people. all of us are not on welfare. is acoded word for blacks.
please, give president obama and the first lady michelle obama the acknowledgment that they deserve and receive like all these others that have been there in the white house. thank you, steve. host: don't wait another five years before you call a caller: back. if i can get in. guest: president obama is the president, clearly. i have called him president obama on a few occasions. the announcement for charlotte to be the convention site was announced by first lady obama. no disrespect intended. i have nothing but an enormous praise for the president's 2008 campaign. i think it was brilliantly handled. it is a microcosm of my state of north carolina where one year
before, nobody expected it to be on the field. i have a great respect for the folks who work in the white house. i think they do as good a job as they can. it is a very difficult job regardless of who the president is or what party is in power. we have a new white house press secretary and will be interesting to see how he performs. i have enormous respect for robert gibbs and so many other people in the white house. host: james allen has this point -- guest: i cannot commit to what house republicans will do or the house republican leadership. your referenced the piece about paul ryan and he is a real strength and leader of our party. he is somebody that so many members of congress and so many republican activists throughout the country follow up and support. i had the opportunity to see and
speak specifically on spending last month i cannot say enough all fan i am of his. host: we will have a continuing resolution next month, march 4 is the deadline to keep the government running and the debt ceiling vote will come later in the spring. how will this budget debate come together guest:? not easily, that's for sure. is theed quo youtesed you quotd first evidence of this. some of the cuts they anticipate making will be in the committee organizing programs, the grass- roots social support programs that obama is a product of. host: to some people, more investment means government spending. guest: indeed, you mentioned we are one year after the iowa caucus and week -- i would be remiss as an iowa native that
that state has tremendous need for some of these federal budget issues to be figured out. there are the not-related issues and the state has been hit with national issues. that is very much at the forefront of people in iowa. that will factor into the 2012 composition as innumerable candlelight parade through iowa. there will be confronted with questions in a very real, on the ground way about how some of these budget questions will be at rest in that state and those localities with tremendous need going on that right now. host: where will build the compromise on spending dead guest: we don't know yet. we will get more comments from the president tomorrow. we have made clear and i think the voters have made clear and
the callers have made clear that the current course is something we cannot sustain. that is something that threatens our national security. one thing i think tracy sort of touched on is state budgets. we have states, the majority of the states that are in real financial straits right now. if the states don't solve those problems individually, we have that same problem going on throughout the country. host: here is another comment -- guest: i don't think that tax relief causes more debt. i think it helps bring in more government revenue by having the economy boosted. the president signed on with extending the tax relief that was signed during the bush years. i think that was the right move. i would like to see it extended permanently. one thing we saw throughout the campaign were a number of
democrats a saying that a recession is no time to raise taxes. as a republican, i don't think there is any time to raise taxes. many democrats did not want to do this either. guest: the hopeful was that we have now is that we are on the verge of an economic recovery and the tax cut extension from a few months ago, as this recovery was beginning to happen. there has been thought full economic analysis from the friday drop report linking some of the numbers we saw back to the notion that we are on the verge of this recovery. as that happens, which we hope is the case, all of these questions of tax cuts r will bee-considered in the light of the recovery. host: houston, texas, independent line. good morning. caller: good morning, can you hear me? host: it sounds like you are on
a cell phone. caller: yes, first of all, the lady that called in had not called in for many years. she took away a lot of my point. i am in texas which is a red states. it is a bloody red state at this point. but like to ask the republican guy, how many jobs did president george w. bush, how many jobs were created when he was in office? it seems to be it is all about power. it is not about anything but having the power to do any thing for the american people are until we treat everybody as if they are real people and not statistics.
this country is headed in the wrong direction guest: i would agree the country is headed in the wrong direction. only having one part of one branch of government, i don't know the exact numbers for the bush administration. but it clearly was not enough. if we want to grow jobs at a higher rate than we did and coming out of 2004, we had some tough economic times. that led to some tough electoral issues for republicans. we are at 9.2% unemployment right now. for minority communities, that is higher. for veterans that is higher. , the countryix will not rebound. we always forget that in these unemployment numbers, there are people not represented at all.
people in this economy have given up on that key obama word, hope. they stopped looking for work and their numbers are not necessarily reflected but they are not working either host: here is another question. guest: we are hoping for the recovery. there are as in some ways two economies. there is the corporate economy where we see profits rising and the business community working hard for the chamber of commerce to get a lot of their priorities in place. the odyssey,one. economy -- that is in o economyne. economy one. economy 12 is the regular american people. they are at the forefront of everyone's mind when we talk about the recovery. it is not going to be as simple to point out the window and say
there it is. it is a certain process that the more mindful democrats working together with republicans, the more mindful all lawmakers are about the notion of two economies in play, i believe the more likely the recovery is to become more visible. i recognize the comment that it is not for it is not something we can point to in small is that everyone wanted to be much greater and much bigger. data points like an uptick in manufacturing jobs are of tremendous stigma evidence for the recovery there are macro employment is on route our relationship with china. the more manufacturing jobs we create in this country, the ripple of fact that has across all of these recovery efforts indicates hope. there is progress that is on the horizon. host: our next caller is from jacksonville, florida. caller: thank you.
my call is for the democratic strategist. when the 2012 election comes along, does she expect president obama to do like bill clinton did end run closer to the center or does she expect him to dig in his heels and run a pelosi democrat-guest: many people in my party have begun asking that question, as it relates to the committed left progressive base of the democratic. party where will those principles and priorities play out in obama's reelection campaign? as important as those questions are are simply premature. this president is beginning to outline and articulate is that his 2000 will average will be solely route to in these
economic recovery principles. those markers are elusive and he will keep working to bring those to bear on the everyday american public, on the everyday job seeker, on the everyday family, on the everyday homeowner. how that ultimately plays out in the far left, center, moderate position, i think he will do all of those decisions very much le l with aens of economic recovery. host: there was a two-way race beef between obama and hillary clinton. guest: i think that is a great thinker and very few people would argue that we should start these primaries earlier. at republican national committee
last year, we adopted a process where our first primaries and caucuses would not begin before february. states that want to move before the first four states of new hampshire, iowa, nev., and south carolina would be penalized. i think that is a great thing to do to restore sanity. many of us and the viewers say that you get into an election season and you just talk about politics nc commercials on television. by delaying this, there is seniti that is restored. guest: it is a good reminder that the campaigns may seem like a game and are treated that way. there is the notion of a horse race. in reality, regardless of when the election starts, it will be when those people on the ground who are in the audiences of all
these candidate visits feel there is a residence. they want to feel there is something real to their platforms and efforts. until that moment happens, i don't think any calendar ever matters. what matters is how the voters responded that is not to say there is not tremendous deliberation that goes into creating the calendar for these elections and for the parties. there does need to be a moment of residents. until that happens, there is no campaign. host: one of the new names on the horizon in john huntsman, former governor of utah. there has been talk about the relationship between him the and romneys. guest: i don't know how much truth there is to that. the non-issue ofi mormonsm, it
is not what was in the last cycle. hopefully, it is a thing that dissipates. when john f. kennedy was the first catholic, that was a big deal. being a catholic and running for president is not a big deal. being jewish and running for president is a big deal. religion iseone's should not be a big deal. guest: i assume that refers to manufacturing jobs. those jobs are being treated in china which is why any growth we see here is so important. we have a long way to go. president bush in his two terms dug an extraordinarily big hole and there is a long way to climb out there is interest in those numbers because we cannot see and sustain that growth to come out of china but we needed in the state. host: the u.k. has it right --
two months campaigns and that's it. jeff in omaha,to neb., and dependent line. caller: good morning. i have two questions for your democratic strategist. guest: sure. caller: the first one is -- i want to explain to the people of america how they can justify these numbers. one example is how can the unemployment rate needed to create 250,000 jobs per month just to break even? you create 36,000 last month that goes from 9.6% to 9%.
i would like to see t howhey spin that. the second one would be the health care. if health care is a good for everybody, i think they are at 500 exemptions for major corporations. and climbing. if it is so good for all of america, why would that be? i would like to have america listen to your answer carefully because everybody knows you guys can spin a tornado. guest: about the jobs report -- i think a program like this or other programs where there is a discussion about those numbers, is unfortunate but it is a woefully insufficient venue to talk about this. you can listen to the most esteemed and established
economists try to make sense out of those numbers on friday and the caller's point is right is that there were some very strange things in there that the net job gain in addition to the decrease in the unemployment rate left many people perplexed. it was a very anomalous month in that regard. it requires careful reading. it is worth noting that the full report is made publicly available. for those people who are brave enough to died in and tackle the statistics for themselves, the bureau of labor statistics does provide that for public this up -- consumption. it is not something -- i am not an economist by training. i cannot explain those differences. if someone like austin goals be from the white house has made a valiant effort. all the talk about the jobs report acknowledges that it was a strange report. there were numbers hard to reconcile. all the other factors that go into that, not the least of
which was what wintry months it has been and how the snow and a blizzard conditions can have an affect on the online rate -- all these things may sound small but when you add it up across the household survey an employer survey, you can see the potential for some confusion in these numbers. i would not begin to try to say there is spin nor do i think the white house is doing that either. it is a very unusual report. host: our next call is a gem from boston on the democrat line, good morning. caller: i would like to disagree with the young man you have on curre. he said republicans are spending money like democrats. they do spend a great deal of money but they spend it on two
wars and tax breaks for the super rich and big business. guest: first off, thank you for calling me beyond. i don't get that very much anymore. republicans and democrats have different priorities on spending. the key issue facing us is the amount that we are spending. we have gone into deficits over the past two years that nobody anticipated. it is very troubling for what may come next for this country. this don't tackle it , country will be a worse position than right now. host: republican line, next call, georgia. have you ever, heard of the foreign trade zone that is going into the united
states now where china is coming over here and getting businesses started? they own the business, they run the business, everything. china is taking over the jobs here in this united states guest: i have heard of these trade zones. as one of the challenges we face as we try to solve the problems with china. growing significant part of our debt with china. china is sitting back and hoping that we failed. if we fail, they would win and that's why the stakes are as high as they are. host: dqana carvey is back in here is an excerpt from saturday night live.
>> i want you to supervise the loading. two, i'm afraid you will have to resign. first, you will make a public statement supporting me, which i wrote myself. it is over there on the word processor. key in and press "file." the code name is -- oh, all right, i'll do it for you. >> mr. president, you are going so fast. there is still a lot about the iran-contra op we need to understand. >> only i need to understand. is that clear? >> yes. host: one of the encore performences as we reflect on the president's legacy. guest: that clip is a good reminder that whatever one wants to say or has to say about president reagan's politics, he was a man who had been known to have an excellent sense of humor. guest: i remember growing up, i
didn't understand the power of his -- of these messages at the time, but to me it shows in a small way, what a great messenger he was and what an influence he had in really how issues were perceived. host: we are going to take a short break. when we come back, we will reflect on ronald reagan, his life, his legacy with a historian. back in a moment.
>> i will not make age an issue of this campaign. i am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience. [laughter] >> look at the life and presidency of ronald re reagan online at the c-span video library. >> this week on c-span 3 we will visit the old naval liberi. the fugitive slave laws on 1850 and how it indirectly resulted in the expansion of the underground railroad. and a look at political cartoons of the civil war. how they provide a political insight of the news of the day. all weekend, every weekend.
for a complete schedule online, go to c-span.org where you can have our schedule e-mailed to you. "washington journal" continues. >> historian, author, presidential archivist, richard dornan is here. at 100, why does he still matter? guest: i think you heard some of that this morning. he still inspires pro and con but he matters i think bazz he was more of an agent of change. his boyhood hero f.d.r. ironically he reversed in many ways the new deal represented.
you can say the political process has yet -- the will to address. weather it is the future of social security, immigration reform, which is obviously a hot button issue. tax reform, which people are beginning to talk about in both parties. the fact is all three were addressed during the reagan presidency within his much wider arguably historic and enduring shift where in many ways ronald reagan moved the center of political gravity to the right. >> let me -- you write, quote, by his own acknowledgement reagan arrived in washington with a script. in deed, by running in 19 0 -- 1980 on on a clearly articulated platform of less government, lower taxes, and entrepreneurship, he could begin what he called his new
beginning." why was that different than any other president or candidate? >> think back, whatever their politics may be individually, think back to a campaign that was really defined by a specific policy agenda. but remember, in 1980 the american people had been through a series of failed or tragically shortened presidencies. we had been through the assassinations of the 1960's, vietnam, watergate, the energy crisis. a perception that america's economic power was no longer pre-eminent. some doubts about her military standing. and there was a fear on the part of many people that the presidency itself had become too large an office for any one man to master. all of those things came together, and reagan didn't just tap into popular discontent with
the status quo. clearly there is an element of that, but he actually tried to offer a specific economic plan. that's what 1980 was all about. >> you go on in your piece with these words that political scientists speak of transformational vs. transactional leaders. agent of change vs. defender of the status quo. jefferson, jackson, lincoln, t.r., and f.d.r. boldly changing their time and leaving in their wake a grip on power for several decades. with f.d.r., the roosevelt consensus about the role of government, the social safety net that f.d.r. created in the midst of the great depression. that was the governing consensus. ronald reagan had to take that into account in 1980.
george will the conservative columnist famously said that the american conservative wants to conserve the new deal. social security had been an issue for republicans, and reagan was no exception of that. the fact is that after ronald reagan -- the best evidence is when bill clinton said "the year big government is over." in many ways that was bill clinton who was famously an activist in his own approach to government acknowledging the new preveiling wisdom, the anti-washington move, if you will, that had been bee queethed -- bequeathed to him. the fact he was reading reagan's bog if i tells you about where his reading is after the center of gravity 20 years after he left office. >> you are presidential director of five libraries?
>> yes host: this morning the washington times looking at the newly renovated library. what's different? what's changed? guest: i'm not sure, because i have not been involved. i can tell you what was in the old, but i'm not in a position to tell you what's in the new. except to tell you this -- it does demonstrate that there is no such thing as a permanent exhibit in a presidential library. particularly in a president who was the artist of polarizing controversial history-making president. the johnson library is looking at re-doing their permanent exhibit. that will be the fourth time since the johnson library opened that the, quote, permanent exhibit will be redone. history is an incredibly dynamic discipline. with each generation shall -- the same events tend to be viewed through a changing lens. host: what makes a successful
library, whether it is a current president or as you found without with the lincoln library in springfield, illinois? guest: first of all, we are talking about the library function, a collarly function, and then a museum. which is more popular, if you will. the two should be completely entwined, it seems to me. the museums should reflect the latest in scholarship. it should reflect the highest intellectual standard, but it should be engaging to masses of people. obviously, the presidential library is no different from any other institution. there are arkifal standards that -- archival standards that should be met. one of them, and i'm a little old-fashioned, ought to be openness. i actually think, if too much paper is stamped top secret to begin with, and i think the
archives should find ways to open more of it sooner. >> one of the things you know is that nancy reagan saved everything. guest: and thank god she did. she had a keen sense of history. i will never forget sitting in some meanings during the planning process of the reagan library and it was fascinating to watch the president tell stories about these events that we were trying to turn into exhibits. and mrs. reagan was a very keen visual intelligence. she could take a story board and interpret it instantly in the ways that i'm not sure a lot of people even know what a story board is. this had to do with having been in the movies. but it is a very interesting approach. they could both see things in ways that other people didn't. host: go back to your "time" magazine piece.
reagan excelled at the politics of multiapplication. too many of his professed admirers appear to preefer division." guest: people thought -- they didn't like the direction that history was going. and it often tended to have a sour count nens. ronald reagan changed all that. one of the things he did was to put a smile on the face of conservativism. he was as optimistic about the future as he was, indeed, futuristic. those were not qualities associated with the conservatives of, say, herbert hoofer. reagan made conservativism an instrument of reform, and that, too, as opposed to simply an instrument of resistance.
host: charlie peters was here last week and wrote a book on lyndon johnson. like him or not like him, he accomplished a lot in terms of getting things passed. he died in 1973. his centennial would have been 2008. there was no centennial for l.b.j. we have one for ronald reagan. what's the difference between these two presidents? guest: oh, gosh that would take a while. there was a centennial, but it was modest. johnson was thought of in some ways as a president guilty of over-reaching, of doing everything on a texas-size scale actually had a centennial that was quite modest. the reagan centennial, much of which is clearly from the grassroots, is much grander than l.b.j.'s, make of that what you will. you could make the case that the last 40 years of american
political history is, in many ways, a response to l.b.j. and the great society. when you think of what johnson -- that we take for granted headstart, medicare, medicaid, the voting rights act, the national endowment for the arts, pbs, clean air and water legislation, also environmental legislation, and on and on and on, more legislation than f.d.r. passed, and most of it is still in the books. and it is a very interesting thing. one of the really fascinating tests that lies ahead is to what degree modern-day conservatives want to undo elements of the great society. because so far i haven't heard a lot of people calling for the repeal of headstart, for example. host: we have a lot of reagan
moments available at our library of c-span.org. this is august 1976 as ronald reagan defeated jerry ford for the republican nomination after losing the early nominations. he had this to say in 1976 about the state of the country and the state of the party. >> if i could just take a moment, i had an assignment the other day. someone asked me to write a letter for a time capsule that is going to be opened in los angeles 100 years from now on our tricentenniel. it sounded like an easy assignment. they said i should write down the troubles of the day, as i did in a convertible car looking out at the ocean on one side and the mountains on the other, and i wondered if it would be as beautiful 300 years from now.
then i started to write, let your own minds turn to that task. you are going to write for people 100 years from now that know all about us. we know nothing about them. we don't know what kind of a world they will be living in. >> august, 1976, former governor, former presidential candidate ronald reagan. host: anyone watching that clip could be forgiven for thinking ronald reagan had just won. a lot of people look at that as the first speech of the 1980 campaign. i'm just finishing up a 2.5 year orled history project on the president and mrs. ford, and we talked to a lot of people at the 1976 convention. there were those people around ronald reagan, and president ford knew then that he wanted to bring governor reagan down onto the platform. there were those around governor reagan who i don't think were wild about the idea.
but ronald reagan understood, first of all, this is what you do. i mean, party unity. but beyond that, i think he saw the opportunity and took it. edwin moore refers to this as one of reagan's two most impressive public speeches, and in many ways, the speech that laid the groundwork for his successful run four years later. host: his chief of staff at the time was dick cheney, gerald ford's chief of staff. this is an event we covered last night at the reagan ranch in santa barbara, california. >> outside a movie screen my first trip to los angeles was a 1974 trip to los angeles with president ford. i was in the room when the two of them met before going downstairs, this was at the century plaza, and this was
before going downstairs to attend a republican fund raiser. i believe they were sizing each other up in a prelude to the battle for the 1976 nomination. i remember being a little distracked because i was making last-minute travel reservations for the president, but busy as i was i saw enough of governor reagan that night to know that we in the white house would have plenty to worry about if we got into the race. host: dick cheney worked for ronald reagan and gerald ford? guest: yes, ronald reagan is associated with the 11th commandment, thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow republican . then he ran against ford.
whatever the circumstances of the end of the nixon era, it was the end of his term. i don't think he had difficulty convincing himself that he was, at least in some ways, entitled to run. host: can i ask you one of the great what if's? guest:: sure. host: what if jerry ford had selected ronald reagan as his running mate? guest: it is my understanding from multiple sources that the condition of a ford-reagan meeting following the nomination, the condition was, that ford not offer the vice presidentsy -- presidency. only if the ford camp was guaranteed that, could the meeting go forward. there are those who heard from ronald reagan's own lips
subsequently, that reagan was such a soft touch that if ford had asked him, he probably would have said yes. they probably would have won. you have to remember, the -- ohio, mississippi, mississippi was 11,000 votes, ohio was no more than that. and hawaii turned out to be nip-and-tuck. and it is hard to believe if reagan had been on the ticket, particularly in places like southern ohio and mississippi that they would not have picked up the additional votes when needed. host: our guest is historian and author richard norton smith. a look back on the legacy of the 100th birthday for ronald reagan. i want to share another moment from former president reagan. he spoke in oxford after bill clinton was just arrested. george herbert walker, his running mate was just defeated.
he spoke about the state of the country. a speech that you helped to write. >> in my country those -- in some countries those who hold unfashionable ideas are sent off the stage. what a perversion of the great chaotic yet essential marketplace of ideas that we call democracy. but then i have always believed at home and abroad that the only cure for what ales democracy is more democracy. >> in countries like egypt and tunisia, what are your thoughts? guest: i think ronald reagan's words are prescient.
they bowl center -- bolster the case for those whose values will endure long after he is not around. republican leader, left, right, great leaders, they don't only speak to us, they speak for us. they give voice to essentially american values. i think many ronald reagan did that better than anyone of his time. host: one other point from your "time" magazine piece, "ronald reagan like president jackson was anything but. but this refusal to be bound by the status quo is the hal mark of a transformational leadership." guest: his buying fer said rather than call him pragmatic,
he -- call him practical. he was a practical person. he didn't stop there. for reagan politics was also the art of the impossible. a more conventional leader than reagan would have been content, for example, with the arms race. you measure progress by slowing the rate of increase of nuclear weapons. reagan believed, radically, that you could get rid of every nuclear weapon on earth. i mean, he thought that parallel universe. that alternate way of seeing reality to issue after issue. and i think it is one way to explain why he is so difficult to pidgeon hole, to label, to put into a box. because i think he -- the first thing you need to know about ronald reagan is that he's the motcht unconventional political
figure of his time. host: we'll get your phone calls in just a moment. join the conversation online at twitter.com or send us an e-mail as well. when was the first time you met ronald reagan and when was the last? guest: the first time i met ronald reagan was in 1976. the harvard republican club gave him a man-of-the-year award at the ritz carlton hotel. even though i graduated a year before, i was inviletted -- invited. that was the first time i met him. the last time, i will never forget, was 20 years later. it was in january of 1996. so it was a year after the alzheimer's letter, after his letter that he wrote announcing his diagnosis of alzheimer's disease. and he used to come up to the library fairly frequently. he came up one day and gave a thrill to everyone there and subsequently we went to lunch. they said, you know, ride with
the president. we're in the back seat of the car being driffyn a mile to the restaurant. i don't know what it was, but i was curious. i said, you know, mr. president, i would really be interested to know how does it feel to be shot? and he started describing it. i realized he was talking about the movies. and one of the ways that you saw -- that i saw the aging process was, we all know ronald reagan was a great storyteller, and the repertoire of stories overtime gradually diminished. but as a rule, he didn't tell white house stories. he told hollywood stories and he told dixon, illinois stories. and i'm told right to the end, as long as he was telling stories, in the end, was his lifeguarding experience in dixon experience, saving 77 lives over seven years. that's what stayed with him as
long as he had conscious memory. host: and at the reagan library he said to the doctors, fm "i haven't gotten this much attention i since i was in hollywood." guest: the reagan legend began march 30, 10 weeks later. for someone who came to washington with a script, it was the ultimate unscripted moment that showed us sides of this man and his character and his grace under pressure, that i think we hadn't seen before. that no campaign alone brought out. and i think there was an emotional bond that was created when millions of people, including many who never voted for reagan. i think after that day, they saw reagan in a different light. >> john joining us from -- from
newark, new jersey, with richard norton smith. caller: mr. smith, nancy reagan had a thing for the children where she would say "just say no " to drugs. i want to hear your view point on iran contra with the drug problem in compton, california, during the reagan administration. guest: i'm not sure of the two issues. iran contra is a great illustration. scholars will be dividing iran
contra for years to come. i think it was a combination of neglect and wishful thinking. i think there was a human desire on the part of ronald reagan's part to try to rescue americans that were not only being held hostage but were brutalized by their cap torse in the middle east. that said, the nir ower debate over -- the narrower debate over the leg at of iran contra and more specifically whether the president was aware of the illegal galt is something that will go on for a long time. i saw a piece that quotes catherine weinberger's diaries, in which the president seems to acknowledge the fact that people can accept the illegality of this, what they couldn't accept is the president not doing everything he could not to rescue his countrymen.
host: the piece in "time" magazine available online. ronald reagan and why he still matters. part of a series of he is as looking back at our 48th president. >> i thank you for taking my call. i want to say i read numerous articles that said reagan was not an intellectual. i strongly believe as we see today, as our president now it does not take an intellectual to be president of the united states. ronald reagan really captured my attention in 1976 when he gave that great smeach, losing narrowly to ford, and that really won him the election. and it really showed what this country was going to see, and a lot of people thought he was not
in the right mind. he proved them wrong, and he's one of our greatest presidents. thank you for taking my call. host: thank you, keith. let me show you a picture from the washington times. it is president reagan in 1983 at a bill-signing ceremony on social security. standing behind him, tip o'neil, the speaker of the house at the time, also bob dole, leader of the senate, bob michaels, and donl patrick moynihan, senator from new york, a democrat. the reagan bipartisan legacy. was it really bipartisan? >> compared to today, yes. again, let's not indulge in misplaced nostalgia. the 1908's were not exactly the era of great feelings. this ronald reagan was a
polarizing figure. that said, social security is a classic bill where you had people like bob dole and pat moynihan in particular who -- al -- an greenspan. that bee deviled republicans and attributed to the loss of 28 house seats, and reagan rather shrewdly out-sourced it to this presidential commission. the difference being, of course, most presidential commission reports gather dust. this one was actually implemented. reagan famously said to tip o'neil, you know, we're toll two old irishmen. we can go at each other cats and dogs until 6:00, and after 6:00 we're friends. i'm not friend all was friendly after 6:00, but it was vastly less brutal in its partisanship
than the current. host: his books "patriarch, the life and legend of robert r. mccormick," and working on a book of nelson rockefeller. who in 1968 had a very unofficial and very curious alliance of sorts with the reagan people in an effort to prevent richard nixon from being nominated on the first ballot. guest: the strategy was if they could stop nixon, then katie bar the door, and both rockefeller and nixon believed over time the convention would turn to them. host: nelson rockefeller, was his selection for vice president an impetus for reagan to run?
guest: that's an interesting question. i don't think it was directly, but i clearly, whether gerald ford reached out to this man who, talk about polarizing, was a lightning rod for many conservative republicans, for lots of reasons, there is no doubt that a growing conservative movement within and outside the republican party saw that as a defining moment for the ford presidency. they took umbrage at it. and the fact that ford, in effect, dumped rockefeller at the end of 1975, was not enough to assuage their feelings. host: bonnie joining us from greenville, north carolina. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you so much. i'm just listening to you spin about reagan. yes he did some wonderful things for the country, but i think he damaged -- i don't know if it is the weak mind of the
conservative. let me point out one experience. last year i went with my husband to a hospital. i was asked to find an inexpensive way that my husband could get 2.5 months of his treatment for cancer. let me tell you, he is a veteran. he fought in vietnam. he dumped agent orange and super orange for two years for reagan, for the conservatives, and for his country. and yes, he volunteers. when we went to duke, i scheduled an appointment with a social worker while my husband went to his keem treatment. -- chemo treatment. when i walked in the door, i had a suspicion that we were not going to be -- i can't say
helped but guided along to what we needed. host: this relationship between your experience and ronald reagan is what? caller: right. this gentleman, who i'm sure idolizes reagan, asked me if i thought the government would take care of my husband and i. now he's a veteran. then he shoved the phone in my face, tells me to call my president and tell my president what -- host: bonnie, i'm sorry, you are going on and we need a short question. caller: why do conservatives have this mentality no matter
how hard you work, you don't really deserve anything. host: we'll leave it at that point. do you want to respond in anyway? guest: ronald reagan famously said in his inaugural address government is not the answer to the question, government is the problem. that's a sweeping assertion. a lot of people, including some fairly traditional conservatives might take some exception. i think the caller speaks for many who believe that conserve tism -- conservativism in the modern era is almost neoism. that it is unwilling to acknowledge a moral obligation
on the part of society to address the needs of people who through no fault of their own are victims. that's part of the debate that is as old as this country. and reagan is very much a part of it. there is no doubt -- i mean, there are elements of the reagan program, if you will -- remember at one point famously in an effort to cut the budget there were bureaucrats, there are conservative bureaucrats, as well as liberal bureaucrats who announced ketchup had been declared a vegetable for purposes of meeting government nutritional needs. that's comic cal. there are millions of people out there in the audience who do not look upon today as a -- as the holiday we are celebrating. host: we had that moment from january 20, part of the reagan inaugural address. here is the answering in and the remarks of our 40th president.
>> the economic woes have come upon us over several decades. they will not go away in days, weeks, or months, but they will go away. they will go away because we as americans have the capacity now as we have had in the past to do whatever needs to be done to preserve this last and greatest bastion of freedom. in this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problems. government is the problem. [applause] from time to time we have been femented to believe that society is too complex to be managed by self rule. that government by an elite group is superior. that government for, and by, and of the people. well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself,
then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? all of us together, in and out of government must bear the burden. the solutions we seek musting equityable with no one group singled out to pay a higher price. host: you have written a speech or two. how would you compare his inaugural address? guest: on the face of it, it does represent a reversal of the f.d.r. new deal. on the other hand, the mood of the speech is not all that different than f.d.r.'s or other president's in times of economic stress have called upon themselves to do. it is a speech that says things are bad, but they will get better because as americans we will make them get better. it is an appeal to the future, as an appeal to a complective
optimism, and it's not one of reagan's classic speeches, but it didn't have to be. host: one of those that might be referred to as a classic speech is october 27, 1964, a speech on behalf of the republican nominee at that time, barry goldwater. here's ronald reagan two years before elected governor of california. >> no government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. so government's programs once launched never dispeer. actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to ecertainly life we'll ever see on this earth. [applause] federal employees number 2.5 million. federal, state, and local 1-6 employed by government.
these have cost us many of our constitutional safeguards. how many realize that today federal agents can invade a man's property without a warrant? they can impose a fine without a trial by jury, and they can seize and sell his property at auction to enforce the payment of that fine? host: this is a transitional moment in his own career as he left g.e. and began his race for president of the country. guest: that speech was to promote barry goldwater but it turned out to be the launching pad for ronald reagan's political career. it brought in a vast amount of money, and in many ways it was a transition. reagan had been given variations of that speech for years through his work with general electric. but really it is the curtain raiser. two years later he ran for governor of california. the interesting thing about that speech, that's almost an angry reagan. that's a prosecute torle -- prosecutorial reagan.
very different from the benign almost grandfatherly reagan we associate with most of the presidency. host: caller. caller: here's a man late in the government supposedly representing the government who is guns the government. it is ironic that he wanted to be president of the united states. i don't have disdain for ronald reagan. i think he did what he thought he had to do. what i remember about ronald reagan is the night he visited philadelphia when he became president of the united states people were living on the streets. they released all the people from the mental institutions because they were trying to save money or cut the amount of money people will to pay on their taxes so they put all these people in the streets. they were sleeping on the grates over the -- on the streets to try to keep warm in the winter time. i remember the iran contra deal where these people, oliver north, and others, took advantage of a compromised president, a compromised man and
they were running the government, not ronald reagan. guest: well homelessness came to the foreas an issue in the 198's. that's part of the legacy, that's part of the record that will be divided for a long time to come. host: ronald reagan's book "my father, a memoir" is it coming to light. he pointed out as early as 1984 he had concerns with that moment in that first presidential debate with walter mondale that his dad, ronald reagan, was becoming forgetful. guest: i'm not a clinitian and i don't -- clinician and i don't pretend to have been around the president that much, but i think the best evidence that refutes it, it may have been ed mcmorris who as we know is not an
uncritical observer of reagan -- host: he has a piece this morning in the "new york times." " guest: but edwin morris had an opportunity to work at the reagan diaries which were kept with great self-discipline every day during reagan's presidency, and this was long after his bad night with walter mondale and during and after iran contra. and morris saw no evidence to suggest impairment of the president's intellectual faculties. part of this is a gray area called "getting old." he had real hearing impairment. that was an issue. host: in being shot at the movies. guest: exactly, from having a gun go off near his ear.
host:: our next caller from -- for richard norton smith. caller: i am an admirer of ronald reagan and i wish his attitude and outlook was reflected today. i have a statement and a couple questions. i have one question. my question is, what do you think he would think of the tea party? that's number one. the gentleman earlier that called about comenton, there were reports in california from the "san jose mercury news" that the c.i.a. was importing cocaine to abuse black people in comenton, which is totally ludicrous. i am wondering what you think about the tea party today? thank you for your time. guest: you may not like my answer. historians have difficulty enough making sense out of the past. you shouldn't ask us to speculate about the future or what might have been.
i think there are elements of the tea party program as i understand it that i think ronald reagan would be delighted to support. to the extent it is about shrinking government, that it is an intellectual step for government at all levels, i have no doubt that reagan would wormly endorse that. i think ronald reagan's conservativism was inclusive, broad-based, upbeat. you know, he signed an immigration reform bill that in effect ran amnesty and three million illegal aliens were then in the country. i'm almost tempted to turn the question around and ask how some
in the tea party, perhaps on the fringes of the tea party would react to this man who was a principled pragmatist in many ways. host: you wrote the transformers, the visionaries who reshaped the republic, thomas jefferson, jackson, lincoln, roosevelt. ronald reagan. guest: sure. there are presidents who changed the country. who set it on -- in 2008 there was talk about reagan changing the trajectory of america in a way that he said, for example, richard nixon or bill clinton had not. not that they were not historiccally significant presidents. it is a very, very rare president that gets the opportunity and has the kills to
in effect profoundly change the course of america. host: and you have a remarkable tour coming up? guest: starting in ash vill, north carolina, and then through tennessee and arkansas, texas, a day in the hill country, johnson's hill country. a visit with jackson's hermitage, the site of dr. king's assassination, even a night at the grand old opre. we're doing this trip. we have a few places left on the bus, and if anyone is interested, there will two ways. they can call. there is a phone number.
202-621-7250-, and there is online www. presidentsandpatriots.com. host: seven presidents, two kings, and the american century in 10 unforgettable days. guest: people that go with us on these strip trips are people who have been with us before, so that's pretty good advertisement. host: denise is joining us from the independent line as we reflect on the president's legacy on the anniversary of his 100th birth. guest: i have to say when i was in high school reagan was
elected and at that moment i knew i would have no future. i became a hair salon worker instead of a lawyer because the grants and loans were cut. i believe reagan is the beginning of the despairity between our classes at this moment. guest: it is an interesting perspective. i saw that from a different direction. i think that ronald reagan unintentionally -- remember, particularly presidents that make big changes, are bound to have unintended consequences to some of those changes. reagan wanted three things in office. he wanted to dramatically cut taxes. he wanted to dramatically increase military spending. he wanted to balance the budget. he found quickly that he couldn't have all three. he made the decision to take two out of the complee. -- three. one consequence of that was to decouple the religion of
balanced budgets from mainstream conservativism. you stop and think, for as long as you can remember, two things that bonded conservatives, opposition to the soviet union and the communist threat abroad, and a fervent belief in limited government that lived within its means, including balancing its budgets. the soviet union disappeared a generation ago, and at about the same time, so did the, as i say, sort of the civic religion about budgets. conservatives a generation later are still grappling with how to come to terms with all of that. that is one of the unintended consequences of the reagan revolution. host: our conversation is richard norton smith, the founder and director of the presidential historian library, also the herbert hoover library
among others. caller. caller: i would like to know what you think about, since you know reagan so much, i want to know what you think about the mayor of new york, mayor bloomberg to change the law to run for a third time, and changing the law after so the people cannot decide it was supposed to be that way. host: term limits. guest: reagan said as he was going out of office that one of the things he was looking forward to doing was campaigning nora appeal of the constitutional amendment. remember, republicans were responsible for amending the constitution after franklin roosevelt won four elections and republicans regained congress briefly, one of the first things they did was to amend the constitution so there would never be another frarving lynn roosevelt. it backfired because eisenhower who could probably have won a
third term had he chosen to, ronald reagan could probably have won a third term in 1988, had he chosen to, in any event he said he looked forward to repealing the amendment. we know at least in principle he believed it was a mistake to preclude the possibility that if the people wanted to elect the president a third time. we had to believe, we have been through so many one-term presidents this would be a burning issue. host: did ronald reagan restore popular confidence or did he unintentionally foster an american exceptionalism bordering on hubris, affording license to spend and borrow without thought of the consequences?" guest: it is one way of defining
the debate from here on in, in terms of his continuing impact. we know there is an impact. we see it in politics today. not just in those ceremonial tributes on the floor of congress. is it an impact that, perhaps, no one including ronald reagan himself would have predicted or necessarily desired? host: one irony we brought up last week in conversation with former president bush is that his memoir is still number 10 on "the new york times." he sold well over a million books. ronald reagan's memoirs were not a best seller. guest: the timing is really important. first of all, president bush, 43, had said nothing really for a year and a half. he had almost taken the male. and i think there -- taken the mail. i think there was a real curiosity of what he might say.
also he talked about things that were almost counterintuitive. i think he talked about things in an unexpected way. i think that element of surprise was not in the reagan memoir. and the timing. timing was everything. reagan had taken a good deal of heat for going to japan not long after leaving office and being paid i think $2 million for a couple speeches. the book came out at that time, and frankly, there was a bit of a reaction against it. it is likely the reissue of the reagan auto biography will sell more copies than it did when originally issued. host: belle we'll go to greg in danbury, connecticut. caller: i understand he was a lifeguard at one time and he saved so many people. is that true? caller: it is true. it was one of the things he was most proud of in his life. he talked about it frequently.
in dixon illinois, for seven consecutive summers he worked as a lifeguard. this has been documented. this isn't a fish story, or whatever the lifeguard equivalent is of a fish story. he saved 77 people. ronald reagan was more observeant than many people thought. going back to that skit you showed from "start night live." it was interesting to hear reagan give a psychological portrait of the differences between men and women about to be rescued. men invariably pretended that they didn't have to be rescued and were stingy with saying thank you. women on the other hand were only too grateful to be rescued and notice how many of them were eager to get to know their rescuer better. host: winston --
ronald reagan had margaret thatcher. guest: and pope john paul ii. you start to think of the figures. helmut kohl in germany. meteran in france. these people did not agree with him philosophically, but they did meet more than their contemporaries do today. gorbachev is a historically looming figure. it was a remarkable time in terms of the cast of players that reagan had to work with. no doubt margaret thatcher that was elected two years ahead of reagan as prime minister of england and represented a sea change in the direction of that country was almost in many ways a dress rehearsal for what
reagan wanted to do here. it is understandable they formed a special relationship. host: if reagan were alive today, what would he think of this centennial? guest: i think he would be a little embarrassed. he was a modest man. i think he would be flattered. anyone would. i think he would be proudest of the fact that his ideas or what he saw as his program atic policies contributions are still as relevant and as entrenched as they are, and it wasn't just a question of eight years in the white house. that in was something that endured long after he left. host: the web site again? guest: www.presidentsandpatriots.com.